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The Many Faces of AI

· AI,Ethics,EdTech

A few weeks ago, SET published an article about applying critical thought to emerging technologies (see article: Preparing for AI in Modern Education). Last week, an article came out in the Economist called “Advances in AI are used to spot signs of sexuality”. This latest article describes that researchers have developed an AI software that can (more often than not) identify sexuality through facial recognition.

Although the science behind this is both fascinating and contentious, it raises both aspirations and concerns depending on your viewpoint.

On one hand, improving machines’ ability to understand humans has many positive implications for learning and cross-cultural communication in the future.

On the other hand, machines making inferences about ourselves as individuals that may or may not be correct can be both a professional risk and a breach of privacy. The ability to use technology to identify (correctly or incorrectly) personal traits could even exacerbate discrimination in our society.

The article concludes by explaining that the scientists behind this research were hoping “to warn policymakers of the power of machine vision.” Unfortunately, the facts show that this is a debate that policy-makers, and even the general public, may not yet be prepared to have given the current state of secondary and postsecondary education around technology.

Our call to action is for educators to regularly discuss the positive and negative implications of these types of emerging technologies with their students. Through discussion, sharing viewpoints, learning about important scientific breaks, and research, we might be able to prepare future generations about the technologies that will be prevalent and significant during their lifetime.

SET consultants are prepared to work with all members of your school to help facilitate these conversations. Please feel free to email us at for more information.

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